CAP Watch: Conference Report from Kat 4.26.13

DAY 7 –FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2013

 4 bills pass Conference Committee today!

HB 1279 HD1 SD2 – FUNDING FOR REINTEGRATION
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB1279_SD2_.pdf
Pump UpThis bill passed conference committee with a $250,000 appropriation to PSD for fiscal year 2014. There was a language change to allow Dept. of Labor & Industrial Relations to receiving funding from other sources. We will be asking for more funding in the 2014 supplemental budget.

SB 71 SD2 HD1 – MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR PUBLIC SAFETY PROGRAMS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB71_HD1_.pdf
This bill died in conference for lack of funding. There was about $30 million allocated for funding bills with more than $100 million in funding requests. We will try again next session in the supplemental budget.

HB 385 HD2 SD1 – EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB385_SD1_.pdf
This bill died in conference for lack of funding.

HB 218 HD1 SD2 – CORRECTIONS POPULATION MANAGEMENT COMMISSION – 2 SEATS FOR HAWAIIANS
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB218_SD2_.pdf
This bill was finally released by the money committees (although it had no appropriation) and passed.

HB 668 HD2 SD2  – TRANSFER OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM FROM PSD TO DOH
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB668_SD2_.pdf
This bill finally passed as a straight transfer of the medical marijuana program from PSD to DOH. What was revealed was the mishandling and co-mingling of funds by Keith Kamita, former Deputy Director of Law Enforcement who has since been relieved of his duties as Deputy and is now head of NED (Narcotics Enforcement Division), which is still questionable.

SB 642 HD2 – TOBACCO; MEDICAL CANNABIS PRG.; TRANSFER TO DOH
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB642_HD2_.pdf
After a truly revealing performance by the Senate Chair Josh Green, and an admirable effort by House Chair Della Au Belatti, this bill passed. In a prior conference committee Chair Green said that the only way that the transfer bill (HB 668) would pass is if the House accepted his unacceptable draft of SB 642. Chair Belatti was awesome and firm and stood her ground as Chair Green threatened that if nothing passed ‘it would be on her’. I have been around for 17 years and I have never witnessed such despicable behavior.

The bill improves the medical marijuana program slightly by allowing 7 plants per patient and removing the mature/immature designation that was so confusing for law enforcement; increases the usable amount of medical marijuana to 4 ounces;  allows only primary care physicians  to recommend; grandfathers in exiting licensees; and makes sure that DOH has 24 hour access to information about licensees immediately (even though it would not become effective until 1/2/15).

This was the last bill to be voted on before the 6 pm deadline and Chair Green appeared to want to miss the deadline by reiterating the amendments when the House conferees started saying “TAKE THE VOTE”. He did, and the bill passed. A sad, but very revealing performance!

Yay for the House and for Rep. Della Au Belatti. PLEASE THANK HER FOR HER COURAGE AND STEADFAST STANCE – REPBELATTI@capitol.hawaii.gov

I will post the results of CAP’s advocacy at the 2013 session after May 2nd, which is the last day of session as anything can happen between now and then….

Mahalo for all who wrote testimony, called, e-mailed and helped to make our voices heard!

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